Glenn Ojard

     I was born in Carswell Airforce Base in Ft. Worth Texas in January of '88. The early years were spent between coast guard bases in Kodiak, Alaska and Eugene, Oregon. Both parents were coasties, but when they split up, Mom and I went to live in Texas. My mom always wanted to go North, and when weapons and drugs started showing up in the lockers of my middle school, she decided she'd had enough and we came up to Juneau. I went to Floyd Dryden and graduated from JDHS having no idea what I wanted to do, but mom was determined that I should go and figure it out, so I went to Minnesota to get better acquainted with my dad's side of the family. I worked some odd jobs until I landed one working for people with mental disabilities and found value working with people that seriously needed my help, but often I would be paired with high functioning individuals too competent and too proud to need my help in their tasks. The boredom was intense, and I thought that retraining in another field might ease that boredom and translate into cash. Getting a degree seemed like a step in the right direction and so I started taking classes at the local community college, which led me to meet Tim Benson and David Woodward, who taught Spanish and Anthropology respectively. They convinced me to go on a study abroad to Mexico, which led to another and before I knew it, I had lived in Mexico for a year. Coming back to the States, I finished my bachelor's in Anthropology from MNSU in Mankato, Minnesota, and eventually dropped out of grad school because I couldn't make my thesis for public consumption. I don't want 3 academics to be the only audience for a year's worth of work.

    At the same time, I was learning to spray paint and the pieces I was showing online were getting hundreds of views. The internet seemed to be a much more efficient way to get attention, and the portfolio I'd created is, to me, 100 times more valuable than the slip of paper I got at graduation. However, I often hit creative blocks based on my own expectations in relation to my skill. At some point, I watched a Gary Vaynerchuck video about how creatives, when they get stuck, need to turn their lens outward and document society. I figured it was worth a shot, and so on Halloween of 2017, I sat outside of the Viking and Sealaska, waiting for someone to interview, until a guy I went to high school with, Roy, came to sit down and talk to me. He was piss drunk and pissed off, and wanted to express his anger at Trump. It made for a compelling video, getting nearly 1,000 views in a week. I hadn't ever seen numbers like that before, So I wanted to get more, but I also wanted to balance out the content. Business owners immediately saw the value in the free advertising, and so they represented a large part of my interviews for "The Streets of Juneau" project on Facebook. Those interviews got me noticed by Kris Sell, who was a police officer in my delinquent high school days. She gave me a shot at recording the Juneau Police Department's Shop with a Cop event, and eventually let me audition for the weekend news here at The Juneau Radio Center. I could never have imagined that two months of hard work would land me a media job, let alone the ability to take Streets of Juneau to a live audience. I'm super thankful for the opportunity, and plan on working my face off for this company.

     

    Much Love, 

     

    -Glenn

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